In America we often live under the delusion of self-sufficiency. We rebuff the help of a person at the elevator and instead shift the weight of boxes in our hands and swing our foot up to hit the button we need. We talk about picking ourselves up by our boot straps, never realizing the boots were a gift and only fools attempt life on their own. Then, when tragedy strikes, we suddenly realize we need help. We face illnesses, we lose people we love, or we need another’s expertise. Our lives oscillate between self-sufficiency and the recognition we need help. Our spiritual lives sometimes look the same way. We seek our own righteousness in various ways—service, meditation, charitable giving—but then we get knocked on our rear and realize we need something stronger. And back and forth we go.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
you can't fix this
So far in this study we have talked about the goodness of God, our image bearing, and then where it all went wrong. We have talked about the cosmic sin all around us, the sin within us, and the distance this sin puts between us and God. And this week we have discussed that the law and behaving better cannot save us. At this point, you might be brainstorming other ways to fix your brokenness—your need for control, your inability to restrain your appetite, your lust for others. You might think perhaps if you work toward good in your community maybe that will manifest goodness in your own life. Or, maybe you think there is a cosmic balance somewhere in the universe that weighs out your good qualities with your bad ones, and you are hoping to add to the good column through financial gifts, volunteering, or being kind to your neighbor. Friend, you cannot save yourself. Only God can do that.
God, being rich in mercy, never asks us to try to be good enough for him. He knows we will die from exhaustion. Let the gospel free you from this burden.
The gospel declares the good news that only God can save. You might be wondering why this is good news. If we needed to save ourselves, how much effort would that take? How much work would you need to put in to overcome the cosmic gap between God’s perfect standard of righteousness and your brokenness? The good news of the gospel declares that every person falls short of God’s perfect standard, which means we can stop trying to earn something that is impossible. It was always a fool’s mission to try to make ourselves righteous. The gospel frees us from even trying. We will never be good enough to satisfy the just wrath of God for our sins and brokenness. Like throwing pennies at a billion-dollar debt, our goodness simply falls woefully short of God’s standard. God, being rich in mercy, never asks us to try to be good enough for him. He knows we will die from exhaustion. Let the gospel free you from this burden.
Watch Session Two
Why We're Broken
How do you see our inability to save ourselves as good news? Have you ever considered it from that angle?
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